2014

Being a great admirer of world cuisine, Ben at Capsicana sure knows his stuff. From a young age he has been into the chilli world and his range of sauces have been popping up in our reviews for a while now. Its not just sauces they supply. Capsicana have a huge range of seeds, beans, herbs and spices, powders, whole chillies, recipe kits aside from the sauces they make!

The whole branding on all of their products is very standardised. All black labels with the Capsicana logo and text on.This is perfect. Everything is so neat and tidy, easy to read and collect. This label is marked with a 3 out of 5 heat level and banded around the bottom of the label states ‘Hot & Smoky Gourmet Chilli Sauce’.

Ingredients: 

Water, Vinegar, Tomatoes, Onion, Sugar, Habanero Chillies (2%), Chipotle Chillies (1%), Salt, Spices.

Bottle kindly supplied by Capsicana

This sauce, in a whopping 150ml bottle, is a deep red, relatively thick and smooth with the occasional seed and herb piece floating around.  The smoky chipotle scent escapes the bottle upon opening.  A background concentrated tomato smell brings the delicious fruity Habanero flavour with it.This pours very smoothly onto a spoon with ease.Immediately the vinegar hits the sides of the tongue and wakes you up.

The sweetness quickly takes the sharpness away and readies you for the real flavours. The onion and chipotle chillies come together and spread the habanero heat out over the tongue, back of the throat and behind the lips for an all over assault on the mouth.The afterburn is quite significant and after a while you just taste the smoky heat of the chipotle.This I feel would lend itself very well to a barbeque day.As a burger sauce if you like them hot.As a marinade for a nice mackerel or salmon.A dip for a game night, party evening, lads night in etc, or simply something to dip your chips in.

Available from their website for £3.80 for 150ml, you’re in for a treat.

Flavour
(7/10)
Heat
(8/10)
Packaging
(9/10)
Value (10/10)
Overall
(9/10)

{ 0 comments }

The brains behind the Twisted 7 organisation is a chef and winner of a second place fiery foods award for their one sauces the delightfully names Organ Grinder! If you ask Dean “why twisted 7” the answer you will get is “it’s as simple as lucky number 7, I was born on the 7th and there are 7 letters in twisted”

The bottle is a standard 100ml and matches the rest of their range in size, shape and label design. The shape of the bottle does unfortunately make it look smaller than bottles used by other producers. Rather than any pictures that stand out Twisted 7 have opted for a running graphical theme across all their labels with different colours for each different sauce. As a result the set looks nice when altogether and lined up.

On the label you will also find this from the brains at Twisted 7

“This is not your average BBQ sauce it has more in common with a Carolina style BBQ sauce – this is based on an old family recipe that will blow your perception of BBQ sauces/marinades away. Super tangy and packed full of flavour, give it a go, it’s sure to make your burger taste better – marinade your meat before BBQing and get a proper bit of pork, or using it for basting your best bit of beef!”

Ingredients:

Tomato Sauce, Tarragon Vinegar, Onion, Lemon Juice, Sugar, Worcester Sauce, Garlic, BBQ Seasoning, Salt, Tabasco, Chipotle Chilli Powder, Cumin, Smoked Paprika, Sage, Bayleaf

Bottle kindly supplied by Twisted 7 sauces

The Carolina Charm sits at the low end of heat in their hot sauce range with their own classification of 1.5 heat level. The ingredients only specify Tabasco and chipotle, but not what percentage, so I am not expecting much in the heat department here. However as a big BBQ fan, lover of rich both smoky sauces and South Carolina cooking what I am hoping for is a nice tangy BBQ sauce with all the feel of the Deep South!

This sauce is thick, making it ideal to stick to any meat; the aroma brings out the cumin and tomato with so far only a sense of the south. The first mouthful tastes a little like a liquid version of many South Carolina dry rubs I have tried. Perhaps I have been swayed by a recent Caribbean trip and the wonderful tangy fruity sauces they offer but I’m not sure if using this as a dipping sauce works well as isn’t doing the product much justice based on their description given by Twisted. So to give it a chance I am going to check out how it performs on a BBQ and mix it with some meat.

With anything South Carolina what I want to get that home made mammas cooking feel that makes me think of Bubba Gump shrimp. Though this sauce undoubtedly has the ingredients of the south in it for me it does not feel right. I am overpowered by the cumin and missing any kind of warmth from the chilli I would like.

The chipotle too has wonderful flavour and aroma as we all know but I can’t pick up even a hint of it. However on meat, this sauce does perk up a little mixing with the juices of a burger or slightly caramelised on chicken or a nice rack of ribs I am reminded of the flavours my palate is looking for. This sauce will no doubt add some unusual tasty flavours to your regular cooking and bring a change to regular BBQ sauces but sadly I don’t think it will have you reaching for more too soon.

In the summer hold a South Carolina themed BBQ party and add this sauce to your collection on the day and enjoy you won’t be disappointed. But as winter sets in, this sauce didn’t charm me, it won’t keep you warm and will leave you wanting more from it.

This 100ml bottle is £4.00

Flavour
(3/10)
Heat
(2/10)
Packaging
(5/10)
Value (5/10)
Overall
(5/10)

{ 0 comments }

Cottage Delight Ltd are purveyors of speciality foods since 1974 claiming to use only the finest ingredients and traditional production methods in a wide range of award winning jams, marmalades and chutneys. You will find Cottage Delight products in lots of locations including department stores, garden centres, farm shops, tourist attractions, delicatessens and traditional grocers.

Today I will be tasting a bottle of Cottage Delights Tropical Mango Lime and Chilli Sauce. The bottle is a decent size and shaped like an HP sauce bottle with careful attention to the label looking like a small batch production product. However you may have gathered from the amount of stockists above that Cottage delight are quite large producers with production levels capable of filling any supermarket shelf. Even though Cottage delight do produce in small batches, being able to fill shelves everywhere does, for me, loose a little of the magic you get from small UK family companies where each batch will have a unique quality and sometimes vary in taste depending on the chilli crop that year.

The label also contains several descriptions of the contents, describing the sauce as: A fruity exotic sauce with a chilli hit. An exotic, fruity sauce to serve with meats, fish or vegetables. An excellent dip, marinade or bbq baste.  Not forgetting the web description of this Lime & Chilli Sauce is an exotic and extra fruity sauce with a chilli hit.

So basically it should be fruity in taste and appears to go with any food invented. I am almost expecting another description saying zero calories and an ecological alternative to fuel suitable to power any vehicle.

Ingredients:

Mango chutney (37%) (mango, sugar, ginger, garlic, chilli, acidity regulator: acetic acid), sugar, water, lime pickle (12%) (limes, salt, vegetable oil, chilli, mustard, spices, acidity regulator: acetic acid), dried glucose syrup, salt, acidity regulator: acetic acid, thickener: xanthan gum, spice extract

Jar kindly supplied by Cottage Delight Speciality foods

On opening this sauce it smells and looks like a watered down version of mango chutney, given the ingredients listed above this is not surprising. The sauce is sticky allowing it to cover anything you want but is still able to be poured out of the bottle. The ingredients make reference to chilli flakes but don’t mention which chilli, as a chilli head I am always curious and every chilli sauce I buy is usually proud to display the chilli used. The aromas make you think of papadums and bajhi.

The taste of the sauce is like that of a good curry house and is very familiar. I always mix lime pickle and mango chutney with the fresh onions with my papadums. It appears this sauce has just mixed the two together and added a few chilli flakes with some extra sugar. Don’t get me wrong this sauce is tasty and VERY sweet, but disappointing in both heat and inventiveness. One of the suggestions listed is to add into a stir fry. I must admit I haven’t tried this option and can’t picture how an Indian themed stir fry might end up tasting, maybe I’m wrong? The sauce will probably go well over prawns on the bbq or as a cool dip for a buffet meal. Other than that I would keep it handy for your next Indian takeaway as an alternative to mango chutney.

A 220ml bottle will set you back a very reasonable £3.30 for its size direct from the cottage delight site though you will have to spend £15 to qualify for free postage. But you could ask yourself is it worth just purchasing a jar of Mango chutney for about a pound instead? I would also expect you might pay more in any garden centre.

Flavour
(5/10)
Heat
(5/10)
Packaging
(5/10)
Value (7/10)
Overall
(5/10)

{ 1 comment }

Handmade in Bonnie Scotland (Och Aye!), Chillilicious is a Mother/Daughter team who certainly know how to create some delicious jams and sauces. As well as oatcakes (which were reviewed earlier this year) I own a fair few pieces of the handmade glassworks that Daughter Stacy lovingly makes in her glass kiln all the way in Ceres, just south of Dundee. A beautiful combination of culinary and glass art.

Ingredients: 

Pineapple (45%), pear (30%), sugar (24%), lime, cardamom pods, apache chilli.
Suitable for Vegetarians, may contain traces of nuts.

Jar kindly supplied by Chillilicious

In a whopping 135gram jar, simply adorned with a white label, this medium yellow/orange jam, packed full with flesh and seeds teases your tastebuds.It smells like a summery pineapple jam.  Very sweet, with a softness from the pears and a hint of the lime to keep you reminded that this is no ordinary pineapple jam. 

Its not as set as most other jams you would find.  The consistency has a slight thick but fluid motion to it.The pear and pineapple is in large but very soft pieces, giving you a mix of different flavours and textures with each bite you take.The apache chilli flesh is in small quantities dotted about the jam, but don’t let that fool you.The heat is very subtle, so subtle in fact, that you wouldn’t realise it was there until a good few tastes in.Its a slow warming heat that isn’t intrusive or unpleasant.The sweetness of the pear and pineapple, with the combination of the chillies in such fine quantities is a very moreish delight.

I would personally love to try this in a victoria sponge cake with a twist.I feel the sweetness would lend itself well to a summery dessert.With ice cream as a compote style addition.Of course on toast and in a sandwich.I would also suggest using this instead of a mango chutney to accompany a sweet curry dish.

Available via their online shop for £3.50, I think this is a very good price.  Next time I see these guys at an event I am picking up a few of these!

Flavour
(10/10)
Heat
(3/10)
Packaging
(4/10)
Value (10/10)
Overall
(10/10)

{ 1 comment }

<div align="left"><br /></div>